In Autumn/Winter 2018 we will re-open Bodmin’s old Library as an accessible and vibrant performance and community space, promoting the arts, culture and community cohesion through access and participation.
Utilising the existing layout, the small scale community arts centre will house a tapas cafe offering locally produced food and drinks with an emphasis on healthy eating and quality produce. In the same space there will be a small stage for live music, cabaret, comedy, spoken word, talks and, potentially, small-scale theatre and dance.
Also on the ground floor, there will be a space for hire for workshops, classes and drop-in services, such as baby and toddler groups and memory cafes.
On the first floor the five rooms will be occupied by Mind, a yoga studio and co-working space with up to 15 hot desks for hire, upstairs will be a vibrant and creative community who will bring people into the space for learning, support and enterprise.
To promote culture in Bodmin and Cornwall.
To create an inspiring and versatile performance space.
To inspire artists to create and showcase new work.
To present opportunities for local people to engage with the arts through workshops, classes, community performances and drop-in events.
To present opportunities for other creative organisations and individuals to run workshops and classes, and access audiences.
To generate a sustainable income through hires, ticket revenue and a cafe. As well as attracting project-based and regular grant funding.
To build cohesion between cultural and heritage organisations, local businesses, the general public and the local authority.
To create a modern exhibition space to promote local visual artists.
As a venue, it will be flexible in its design and allow various seating configurations as well as being able to remove seats for standing room only. We will look in the first instance to attract local artists and musicians and create a regular and dynamic programme of events. Performers will come from across Cornwall and further afield. The space will be intimate and attract performances that are suitable for the setting, such as stand-up comedy, art-house cinema, cabaret, performance poetry, talks and lectures, singer-songwriters and small bands.
As a making and learning space, we will seek to attract local practitioners to come and run series of creative workshops, one-off classes or taster sessions. We will seek funding to subsidise these for low earners and young people.
As a community facility, we will open a cafe where people can meet, take part in informal events and purchase high quality, ethical and wholesome local food and drink. The cafe will not only generate income but will promote healthy living and create the relaxed environment which will serve as a gateway to accessing the arts and the organisations renting the upstairs rooms.
Looking to the future, we see the Old Library achieving:
Higher local engagement in arts and culture, in particular drawing people from the hinterlands, North and East Cornwall.
Outreach projects helping those who struggle or resist engaging with culture to do so in familiar surroundings.
Cultural status for Bodmin. Attracting funding, tourism, inward investment in the arts and Bodmin as a whole.
Greater social wellbeing for Bodmin.
Increased sense of community through participation projects and providing a sense of pride in something local.
Regeneration of Fore Street, with increased numbers of people walking up to the space from town centre car-parks.
2018-19 Projects (funding dependant)
intoBodmin CIC are currently looking for funding to deliver, as well as the Old Library, four outreach projects. While we are hoping the bulk of the money from Arts Council England, we need to raise a significant amount in match funding. The projects are:
A Dickensian Christmas:
In December 2018, we will work with local theatre maker Ben Kernow and his company Ha Hh Hum to co-produce a Dickensian Christmas, a festive story-telling romp through some of English literatures most loved Christmas fables, poetry and music. It will be presented at the Old Library on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays and will tour to local village halls on Fridays and Saturdays, testing a hub and spoke model that we feel is vital in the development of a cultural Bodmin.
Words in Woods:
Working with KEAP, Story Republic, Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival and Cardinham Woods, we will create a one day festival of storytelling, poetry, music and spoken word in the magical surroundings of the Woods Cafe in Cardinham Woods. With an emphasis on attracting families, the event will be accessible, fun and creative, happening in Spring 2019. A series of workshops will happen beforehand in the Old Library and will feed into events in the festival.
Bodmin History Animation:
Building on the tradition of community engagement around the switching on of the Christmas Lights, intoBodmin will work with local animation expert Amanda Lorens to work in local schools in Bodmin and the surrounding villages to create elements that will be made into a short animated film. This will then be screened using state of the art video mapping onto the clock tower at the bottom of Fore Street. Also working with local musician Emma Mansfield, a unique piece of community choral work will be recorded to accompany this film.
The St Petroc’s Sessions:
In January this year we sold 400 tickets for a concert by This is the Kit in St Petroc’s Church. With the support slot going to local singer/songwriter Emily Spetch. In May, we are expecting another sell-out performance, this time for the fathers of folk-rock, Fairport Convention, again support slots will be offered to local artists. We will continue to run three or four St Petroc’s Sessions each year, showcasing internationally renowned artists in Bodmin and opportunities for local artists to support.
As well as these projects, we are in talks with Cornwall Council about the regeneration of the Bodmin Burgage Plots and have funding submitted for a series of community activity to help clear and restore some of this medieval land. We are also working with the Bodmin Team Ministry to deliver a series of community arts projects in their five churches and we have funding applications submitted for a large-scale visual arts projects and community feast project in Bodmin.